Hypersomnia And Bipolar Disorder: Are They Related?

A person with bipolar disorder, a mood disorder, may go through cycles of extreme ecstasy and depression. Bipolar patients may have problems sleeping that make them drowsy during the day.

Extreme fluctuations in mood, energy, activity levels, focus, and the capacity to carry out daily chores are all symptoms of the mental health disease known as bipolar disorder.

During manic phases, hypersomnia is a common symptom of bipolar illness. During these episodes, people generally feel weary and sluggish, have trouble getting out of bed, and feel sleepy for lengthy durations.

Furthermore, hypersomnia can trigger or intensify manic or depressive episodes in individuals with bipolar disorder. There is a delicate balance between hypersomnia being a symptom of bipolar disorder and it being a separate sleep disorder on its own.

Managing daily life, employment, and relationships while dealing with hypersomnia and bipolar illness is difficult. Fortunately, some available treatments can improve your life by reducing your symptoms.

People with hypersomnia and bipolar illness can recover and experience better health and well-being if they receive appropriate therapy.

In this piece, we will explain why and how a person with bipolar disorder could sleep too much, explore the relationship between the two and offer suggestions for reducing nighttime awakenings.

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar Disorder

Cyclothymia, Bipolar I, and Bipolar II, are the three most common forms of this mental illness. Each of the mentioned above lasts for a few weeks, and it’s well known that people inflicted with these symptoms experience extreme shifts in mood, or what is commonly called as personality changes.

Although bipolar II and cyclothymia are less severe than bipolar I, they are not milder forms of the same disease. Bipolar I is the most severe form, with longer manic and depressive periods.

Still not clear. Allow us to explain. While the more extreme highs and lower lows of bipolar I disorder may stand out to outsiders, the other two diseases are not less severe or bothersome to those who have these conditions.

Mood Swings and Bipolar Disorder

Mood swings are a common diagnostic indicator, although they are unique to each individual and can show a wide range of expression across diseases. Hormonal fluctuations in the brain are responsible for these mood swings, which can make you feel either euphoric, assured, productive, and sociable; or depressed, unhappy, listless, and listless.

These swings in mood aren’t always indicative of being out of control, and many patients report feeling considerably more in command of their conditions after medication and hormone therapy.

The exhausting cycles of highs and lows caused by bipolar disorder can be broken by medication and therapy, allowing you to lead a more stable life. Sleeping better is crucial if you want to make it.

Although remission may seem impossible to achieve, many people have achieved it, and we hope you will, too, if you have access to the correct knowledge.



An adult needs to sleep for at least 9 hours to wake up and feel refreshed and function properly. Yet, those with hypersomnia may never get enough sleep. In fact, some people with this condition spend up to half their lives sleeping and still feel they haven’t got enough sleep or feel refreshed.

A person with hypersomnia may sleep for more than sixteen hours straight but still require naps.

Hypersomnia can happen primarily on its own, or it could be due to a secondary condition, i.e., as a symptom of some other state or as a consequence of lifestyle changes.

In the case of primary hypersomnia, excessive daytime sleepiness is the only symptom, and no underlying medical condition is present. The inability to get enough sleep is the root cause of secondary hypersomnia.

It has been found that between 38 and 78 percent of people who suffer from bipolar disorder also have sleep disorder hypersomnia. It is during a depressed episode that hypersomnia is more common in a bipolar person.

Sleep problems exacerbate bipolar symptoms and remain through all stages of the disorder. It is during a depressed episode that hypersomnia is more common in a bipolar person.

Highs vs Lows of Bipolar Disorder

Highs vs. Lows Of Bipolar Disorder

Sleep problems exacerbate bipolar symptoms and remain through all stages of the disorder. Know about the high vs. lows of bipolar disorder.

1. Highs

  • Speedy Driving
  • Spending Frenzy
  • Careless behavior

These are the symptoms of a possible high, which are somewhat different from the picture of well-being and contentment that some people have of a bipolar high.

Highs, or manic episodes, will leave you feeling on top of the world when triggered by conditions such as stress, lack of sleep, or other external factors.

Hypomanic episodes are less severe and briefer than full-blown manic episodes and are characteristic of people with bipolar disorder type II. Inspiration, confidence, happiness, and even ecstasy can all come to you in waves during these times.

Though seemingly more enjoyable than melancholy episodes, these moments sometimes coincide with risky or hazardous actions like excessive spending or driving too fast.

These periods might continue for weeks at a time or a matter of days; they are frightening and damaging and can lead to financial strains and even legal trouble. As these times end, you can remain bedridden as you recuperate or go into a profound depression.

2. Effects Of Highs on Sleep

Effects Of Highs on Sleep

Some people may think they don’t need sleep, can’t sleep, or has no time because of these exhausting periods. Sometimes it’s tough to settle the mind because of the constant stream of thoughts.

It may be difficult to differentiate between reality and hallucinations during these mood swings. As a result, you may suffer a psychotic episode in which you feel you are a famous person, someone wealthy, or with extraordinary powers.

3. Lows

People with bipolar I and II often experience depressive episodes or “lows” between or before manic or hypomanic episodes. These stages vary from person to person; some people could compare them to mild depressive episodes, while others might experience something more extreme.

The Mayo Clinic reports that a bad mood can lead to feelings of worthlessness, guilt, no energy, an increase or reduction in appetite, and even suicidal thoughts.

4. Effects Of Lows on Sleep

Several studies suggest that 78 percent of people with bipolar disorder have hypersomnia. Further, insomnia is more likely to happen during lows, contributing to poor health management.

Importance of Sleep in Managing Bipolar Disorder

Importance of Sleep in Managing Bipolar Disorder

Getting enough sleep is crucial to managing bipolar disorder, as it has a causal relationship with the cyclical nature of highs and lows. Evaluating the circadian rhythm in people with bipolar disorder can help us understand it clearly.

1. Circadian Rhythm and Bipolar Disorder

The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation found that severe disturbances in the circadian rhythms of people with BD are associated with episode triggers, suggesting that restoring normalcy to the circadian rhythms could be an effective treatment for BD.

The periods of sleep and wakefulness, and to a smaller extent, everyday activities, are governed by our circadian rhythm.

The light receptors in the brain control most of our circadian rhythm. But we also have circadian cells throughout the rest of our bodies. Sleep deprivation has been related to several mental health problems, including bipolar disorder.

According to BBR Foundation, which has formulated a hypothesis, there is a link between your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle and manic-depressive illness.

Some major depressive episodes are more likely to occur in the morning, throughout the winter, and in locations with less light, according to the circadian rhythm theory of depression.

Further, the BBR Foundation found that “highs” in manic patients are more likely to occur in the spring and fall. It also states that these seasons are also associated with schedule adjustments and cross-time zone travel.

Improving Quality of Life by Improving Sleep in Bipolar Disorder

Improving Quality of Life by Improving Sleep in Bipolar Disorder

An alternate theory proposes that changes to one’s sleep schedule can affect one’s waking life and social interactions in people with bipolar disorder.

But there’s good news! People with Bipolar disorder can improve their quality of life and avoid mania by improving their sleep. If you alter your sleep routine and get enough rest, you can break this pattern and control your condition.

You can’t afford to ignore sleep, no matter how riveting your favorite TV show is getting, if you’re dealing with a condition in which moderation is vital, and stability is important. Therefore, try incorporating these shifts into your routine to enhance your sleep.

1. Always Stick to a Regular Sleep Schedule

As we saw before, a healthy circadian rhythm can help you manage your condition. This means you need to get 7-9 hours of regular sleep by timely going to bed and waking up, as the experts recommend.

You will have a greater likelihood of enduring the ups and downs of sleep if you train your body to relax at specific times.

You’re not alone if you have trouble sticking to routines. If you need help, you could enlist the help of a spouse, roommate, or child by asking them to participate in a bedtime routine with you or pushing you to follow the schedule you set.

2. CBT is a Good Option to Try

CBT is a Good Option to Try

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) may be an effective drug-free alternative if you have sleep issues.

CBT is used to treat insomnia by helping patients identify and address underlying cognitive and behavioral factors that contribute to insomnia.

By the end of the program, you may have learned to control or eliminate these destructive habits of thought and behavior, leading to better sleep.

3. Consider Trying Out Some Light Therapy

While a lightbox or light alarm is not hard to buy online, it is important to discuss this treatment option with your doctor first to ensure that you do not bring on a manic or hypomanic episode.

Light therapy, when used at the right time, may help those with bipolar disorder whose circadian rhythms have become irregular due to the disorder.

Being cautious is warranted, particularly if you are currently experiencing or are highly vulnerable to a manic episode because this therapy is also commonly used to treat depression in bipolar disorder. You can only hope for better results after consulting a doctor, but it could be the key.

4. Do Not Use Stimulants

Do Not use Stimulants

You may even be taking strong stimulants prescribed by your doctor, as there is a strong link between ADHD and bipolar disorder. These medications may help you concentrate during the day, but they may be causing you serious sleep problems.

Talk to your doctor if you’re on antidepressants and are experiencing difficulties falling asleep or staying asleep. If you don’t have a prescription, avoid powerful medicines and cut back on caffeine during the day.

You may resort to caffeine to avoid drowsiness and exhaustion. However, overdoing it can cause even more issues.

5. Join a Support Group

Regrettably,  bipolar disorder can increase your likelihood of engaging in self-destructive activities, including substance addiction, excessive spending, and risky behavior. You can get support from online and in-person support groups if you feel sleep is hindering your ability in any way to manage your disease.


Coping with bipolar disorder isn’t easy and may be quite a challenge for both the patient and their families and friends. We commend your determination and hope you find a way to deal with the condition that allows you to get enough rest.

You may be dealing with unusual challenges but always remember, you are not alone. You will inevitably find some options that work for you with time, patience, and the help of your medical team.

The root cause of hypersomnia in bipolar illness patients is yet unknown.

Medication and behavioral modifications are common treatments for this sleep disorder prescribed by medical professionals.

Sarah Wagner

I'm Sarah Wagner, and I founded Sweet Island Dreams in 2022. It's a blog dedicated to helping people mental vacation virtually anytime they want. By providing information about the best sleep of your life, I help people drift away to paradise without ever having to leave their bed!